How to Automatically Send Your Fans an MP3 Download

Every music marketing guru will tell you to offer your fans a free download of a song in exchange for their email address.

email an mp3 downloadBut how do get your song from your computer to theirs?

It may sound simple –just add the mp3 as an attachment to your email. Not so fast!

If you’re using an email service provider, then that’s not an option.

Email Service Providers, such as MailChimp, aWeber, Sendpepper and our own Music Fan Attractor, won’t allow you to attach a large file to an email.

Attachments from an email service look spammy to email filters. Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo all are on the lookout for spam and do their best to keep it out of your inbox. Because of virus threats, files are a major red flag to the spam filters.

Your email service provider knows this. They want your email to get delivered, so they protect you from yourself by not allowing you to attach a file.

Some services will allow you to attach a small file – usually less than 1MB. Others will only let you attach a PDF or JPEG. So what’s a musician to do? Here a few options…

email an mp3Send an email out manually

If someone signs up for your email list you could send them a manual email from your regular old email account with the song attached. If you only get a few email signups a month this might be practical. However, it doesn’t make for a very good experience for you or your new fan.

You’ll need to constantly be on the lookout for new signups. You’ll also need to find time to send each of them an email.

Your new subscriber won’t get their download instantly. Nowadays, folks are very impatient. If you wait more than an hour or two to send them their song they may forget they even requested it. You’ve lost the momentum and the excitement.

Generally, sending emails manually is a bad plan. Besides, there are much better ways to handle it.

Send them a link to Dropbox or Google Drive

Dropbox is a great way to get around using attachments. Simply upload your song to your Dropbox and email the new subscriber a link to the file.

If you don’t have Dropbox, you can do the same thing with Google Drive.

Dropbox and Google are better options than uploading the file to your website. You won’t be using up your hosts bandwidth and the files aren’t crawlable by Google. You’d hate for someone to be able to download your song without signing up on your list first!

Also, your hosting provider will likely frown on hosting your media files for you. Most of them explicitly prohibit hosting media files if you read their fine print. Download speeds are not always the faster either from your own website. Especially if you’re on a shared hosting plan.

That’s why Dropbox and Google Drive are better options.

Use Bandcamp or Bandzoogle

Both Bandcamp and Bandzoogle will send your new fan a download in exchange for their email address. As far as the delivery of your song goes it’s a pretty painless system.

Both systems have an option to select a song to give new subscribers of your list.

However, Bandcamp doesn’t have an email service. They stop at the delivery of the song. From there you’ll need to download the database of new subscribers and add them to your list. Not automatic.

Bandzoogle has an email service but without autoresponders built in. If you’re using email as a sales system for your music you absolutely need autoresponders. If you’re just doing monthly newsletters, then this may be an option for you.

email for musicUse an email service that hosts your mp3 files for you

A few email service providers will host your file for you and make it available for download from their servers. Our own Music Fan Attractor is one of those systems.

Music Fan Attractor hosts your song file (up to 10MB) on our super-fast Amazon S3 server. Your fans will get instant access to their requested song and it will download fast. Automatically!

And because we offer full-service setup of your autoresponder system, you don’t need to know anything about hosting files, or even setting up an email sequence. We’ll do it all for you!

That’s got to be the easiest way to get your songs to your fan yet!

 

 

 

Stand Out in iTunes and Keep Them Coming Back

Not including the full metadata in your free mp3 downloads can be devastating to your marketing efforts.

Take this screenshot from my iTunes as an example…

Metadata for mp3 song file

Take a look at the ratings column. You’ll notice there are several songs here that I’ve rated as three and four star. In my world that means I would like to hear more from that artist. But I can’t…

I have no idea who they are because they didn’t take the time to include the metadata as part of the file!

Maybe at one point I did know who they were. Somewhere someone gave me their song. More than likely, I received them as a free download from their website. I don’t remember, but somehow I ended up with their music on my computer.

I don’t always have time at the moment the file hits my iTunes to go in and add all the relevant data so I can find them later. But I shouldn’t need to.

It’s not my job!!

As a fan I shouldn’t have to fix your mp3 file so I can find you later. It’s basic marketing 101. Put your name on stuff.

Have you ever gotten a free pen from the bank and they DIDN’T put their name on it? If the bank is going to give out free pens they want you to remember where you got it and think about them. Maybe you’ll come back and open an account.

Same for your music. Don’t give it away without a way for people to find you in the future.

The basics of mp3 metadata

Metadata is hidden information within your mp3 file that identifies some standards about the song. Including

  • Artist
  • Track Title
  • Album Name
  • Album Art
  • Composer
  • Producer
  • Year
  • Genre
  • Lyrics
  • Almost infinite possibilities

This information is used by programs such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and others to display your song information in their directories.

 How to get your metadata in an mp3 file

If you’re a PC user then download this FREE mp3 tag editor. It’s the most powerful one I know of and it’s the one I use on a daily basis to edit client files.

edit mp3 file metadata

MP3 TAG

If you’re an Apple user, sorry. I don’t speak Mac.

You can use iTunes to edit your tags. However, a word of caution. Not all devices can read Apple’s data. Better to find a universal editor for your Mac.

 

I found a great tutorial video for using MP3 TAG. Watch this short video to get the basics of how to edit your file.

What fields to use

At an absolute minimum you should fill in the following fields:

  • Title
  • Album
  • Artist
  • Year
  • Genre
  • Album Art

If you are editing files to be given away as free downloads add your website URL to one of the fields. Make it easy for prospective fans to find you.

Follow these tips and you won’t get lost in the iTunes shuffle.

 

Don’t be the Enhancement Drug of Music

Liner Notes April 15, 2014

Adding people to your email list without permission is not a good idea. Not only will it not help you find more fans, it might also directly hurt your efforts to reach your existing fans.

How do you add fans to your email list? Do you ever blindly email someone? Chime in below…

I’m NOT Your Personal ATM

Liner Notes March 18, 2014

So many independent artists treat their email list like a personal ATM.

Fans didn’t sign up on your list to get the hard sell every time they open their email inbox. Here’s what they want instead.

What emails have you sent to your fans that they really got excited about?  Shout out below…

How a Musician Can Build an Email List

Liner Notes February 4, 2014

Last week I talked about the purpose of your band’s website. That sparked some questions about how to get someone on your email list.

What can a musician do to entice someone to sign up on their email list? People treat their email address like gold and don’t give it up easily. So what can an independent artist offer to overcome the resistance and get them on the list?

Here are some ideas….

 

What is the most original item you’ve seen offered for an email?  Leave your answers below…

What’s the Purpose of Your Band’s Website?

Liner Notes January 28, 2014

You’ve heard us talk about calls-to-action….probably more than once. lol 😉

It’s hard to get people to your website. It takes a lot of time, money and effort. Don’t let them just wander around when they get there. Have a plan.

So what should be the call-to-action of your website? What’s its job?

If you’re an independent artist or band then you should have only one answer. See if we agree by watching this short 2 minute marketing drill.

 

What is the purpose of your website today? If it’s not to gather emails will you change it?  Leave your answers below…

Liner Notes January 6, 2014 – A Story from Nashville and Facebook

 

Our recent trip to Nashville turned up an interesting story about following artists on Facebook.

From the video:

House Concerts eGuide

 

 

Mobile Friendly Content is a Must for Today’s Indie Artist

I’ve been shouting to anyone who will listen about the importance of mobile-friendly content.

The following infographic just hit my inbox this morning. It shows the overwhelming number of web-based email users who rely on their smartphones to retrieve their emails.

So what does this mean for you?

I still receive a large number of emails that force me to pinch and zoom to read them. The font is soooo tiny I can’t make it out. I spin my phone to landscape mode and sometimes it’s still not enough.

If your fans aren’t 100% committed, they won’t do the pinch-zoom-spin dance. People are lazy.

Again….

People are lazy.

You need to make things as easy as possible for them. In this case that means making your emails easily readable on a smartphone.

If you don’t know how to do that, I’ll get a tutorial up here soon for some of the popular email services.

Or, check out our new Music Fan Attractor. Everything about it will be smartphone friendly.

Now check out these stats if you still need convincing…..


Source: Litmus — Where Do Webmail Users Open Email?

Musicians: Delete Your Email List – no independent artist needs one

Musician email listHopefully you didn’t just delete your email service provider account after reading the headline. Because there’s an ‘if’ statement that follows…Musicians, delete your email list. No independent artist needs one if they don’t use it properly.

Unfortunately, this statement applies to many independent artists. They’re missing a HUGE opportunity with email.

If you’ve read articles like this one or this one, then you know all the great reasons you need an email list. The problem is no one told you what to do after you got people on your list. And there’s no sense having a list if you don’t follow through.

Here are two things most independent musicians get wrong:

Send out a dang email once-in-a-while!

Can you tell this one gets me fired up?

I’m on a lot of independent artist’s email lists. But one look at my inbox and you might not know it. As many lists as I’m on, I should be getting a few emails a day. But I’m not.

In fact, I only get an average of five per week from independent artists. And it’s always the same acts. They get it. They know the power of an email list is not in it’s potential. It’s in actually using the list.

Here’s how most of the lists I’m on work…

RE: Thanks for signing up on our list

Hey potential fan! Thanks for signing up for our email list! Here’s the free download of our song Really Awesome Song. We hope you love it. Make sure you follow us on Facebook.

Five or six months later…

RE: Really Awesome Album now available on iTunes.

Hey fan. (which I’m not because I never heard from you again and I don’t know a single thing about you) We’re so proud to tell you our new album, Really Awesome Album, is finished and now available on iTunes. We hope you buy it and tell all your friends.

or

RE: We need your help

Hey fan. (Again, not a fan. Just a guy on your list because you’ve done nothing to make me a fan) We’re so excited to let everyone know we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign for our new tour this fall. We can’t wait to come to your town, so head on over and choose from one of our great premiums. Tell all your friends.

The only time I ever receive an email is when they need something from me. In the meantime, they’ve done nothing to make me care. Do you see how crazy that is?

I’m not saying you need to send out an epic masterpiece of an email each week, but you need to keep in touch.

The public spends money on bands they know and like. You’ve got to build a relationship with your list so they’re looking forward to your next email. Not scratching their head and wondering “Who is that? I don’t remember signing up for this.”

Which leads to…

Use the power of auto-responders

email automation for bandsAuto-responders are awesome. They let you send emails and build a fan base while you’re sleeping, or performing on stage. In fact, we use auto-responders to send out The 5 Steps To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing.

For those that aren’t aware, auto-responders are timed emails sent out by your email service provider based on a time-frame you dictate.

A great way for independent artists to use auto-responders is to send out a series of emails over the course of a week or two right after a potential fan signs up for your list. Introduce yourself and start building a relationship on auto-pilot.

Use auto-responders to give them the backstory of your band.

Where did you meet? Who are your influences? How long have you been together? Where are you based? How many albums have you released?

You can also work in the values of the band.

Give the new fan something to connect with. Are you political? Do you support a homeless shelter? Are all your songs about soccer? Do you only eat vegan?

The more people know about you the more likely they are to find something to connect with. It’s that connection that makes them a real fan.

When selecting an email service be picky. Not all ESPs offer auto-responders. It’s the downfall of free email services like MailChimp. (Though their upgraded service does) That’s why we recommend a paid service like Active Campaign.

If you aren’t going to use it – lose it.

Be cool. Don’t make your potential fans jump through hoops to get free downloads or badger them to sign up on your list at live shows, if you have no intention of ever contacting them again.

It’s a giant waste of energy for you and unfair to them.

 

This article was originally posted at onlySKYartist.com by Neil

 

The Fourth Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

When you go to a concert, what makes it memorable for you? For me, it’s when I’m up out of my seat, dancing, clapping and singing along. Every sense is alive. Obviously, I can hear the music. But I can also smell the room around me, the popcorn, the beer…the wacky weed. I see the lights and the band. I can feel the energy of the room. But when the band shifts to the AP –Audience Participation – section of the show, that’s when I’m totally 100% ENGAGED! And that’s Step #4 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing .. Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!

ENGAGE YOUR FANS

Thirty Seconds To Mars is one band that does an excellent job of engaging their fans. At their shows, they make all your senses come alive. I went to see them at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago a couple years ago. The theme of the night was Blood Ball. They asked their fans to dress the part, taking costume ideas from one of their music videos. Many fans did. Thirty Seconds To Mars provided fake blood in the lobby and Jared Leto even threw gallons of it on the crowd from the stage. It was QUITE intense! During the show Jared constantly engaged the crowd. He challenged us to sing along, to get closer, to be a part of the show.  And you know what? It was one of my favorite concerts ever! Because I was part of it.

That’s the challenge for you and your music marketing…Make your fans part of the experience.

You should think of marketing your music as a conversation. So many bands, and businesses for that matter, think of marketing as a one-way flow of information. But really good marketing is a two-way conversation between you and your fans, or potential fans. But even beyond that, your fans want to know you’re a real person. They are buying so much more than your music. They are buying you. And it’s hard to buy ‘you’ if they don’t know anything ABOUT you. fanHow can you make each of your fans feel special? How can you make them feel like they are your number one fan? Have you ever been to a networking event? I work for a Chamber of Commerce so I’ve been to WAY more than my fair share. The people I connect with at those events are the ones I have a real conversation with. The ones that tell me about their family. Maybe about their dreams or goals. Or just a fun story from their day. I don’t connect with the people who are constantly trying to sell me something. Have you met ‘that guy?’ “Hey, nice to see you. I improve peoples’ lives by helping them..blah…blah…blah.”

NO. ONE. CARES.

In today’s marketing world it’s important your message isn’t just about you. You can’t constantly tell everyone about all the ways they can spend money with you. Shows, CDs, tshirts. You can’t even drone on about all the radio stations playing your new song. The sad truth is they just don’t care. What they really want is to be a part of this grand vision that is YOU. So if you only take every opportunity to tell them how awesome YOU are, they will lose interest…quickly. Instead, take every opportunity to tell them how awesome THEY are. You’ll come across as a real, connectable human being. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all places you can share behind-the-scenes content. But anytime you can single out a fan and talk with them one-on-one, you are building something! That’s a conversation they will remember and tell their friends about. You can do this through @ replies on Twitter or tagging them on Facebook. Or you could put your new email database from Step 3 to use! Email is an amazing way to connect one-on-one.

MicHere are some tips to engage your fans through email:

1. Make it personal – When writing emails for your fans, remember on the other end is A person. That’s right – A person. Not 29 people, 376 people or the 3,498 people that are on your mailing list. Each email needs to be written like it’s going to your best friend.

2. Ask questions – A great way to start a conversation is to ask a question. I do this all the time at networking events. It lets me focus on the other person and get to know them. What better way to show you care? 3. Tell a story – Share something that has happened in your life. It doesn’t always need to be about music or your career. Try sharing things about your likes or dislikes. Or maybe just what you’re doing this week. Make it real.

4. Give a peek – Give your fans a glimpse into the world of music creation, or touring or the music biz in general. Remember, you’re living the life they all wish they could. Show them what it’s like to be a rockstar!

5. Ask for input – Everybody likes to be appreciated. Show your fans you love them by asking for their help with something. Maybe it’s help picking the songs for your next album or what outfit you should wear to the show on Friday. Receiving a personal email from you asking for help is something they just won’t expect!

6. Add pictures/video – Email isn’t just about text. Adding some visual punch to your note will put your fans right there with you. It doesn’t need to be fancy or slick. Just having a picture or video message from you will grab and hold their attention longer than just plain text.

7. Above all – Entertain Them! Always leave them wanting more. So your big takeaway today is to remember to make your fans feel special. Giving them personal attention will go a long way in turning them from a casual spectator to an evangelist for your musical cause!


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

Tonight try sending a personal email message to a handful of your fans. Test the waters and see how it feels. What kind of response do you get? Just shoot out a quick note to six fans. Ask what the top song on their iPod is this week. Start a conversation.


Tomorrow I’m going to share with you the most important, yet most-overlooked, key to marketing music. You don’t want to miss out on Step #5 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing, so keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow. Talk tomorrow, Peace, Love, Happiness, Always ~ Jennine

JFK